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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Textbook example of bias by AFP

This is not unusual but it is a textbook case of how media bias works.

Check out this AFP headline:
In normal English this means that Israel ended the "lull" in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes and Israeli rockets.

The first paragraph is slightly more accurate but no less biased:
GAZA CITY (AFP) - Israeli warplanes hit the Gaza Strip Thursday after militants rattled the Jewish state with rocket fire, ending a five-day lull and threatening efforts to strike a more permanent truce.
Notice that it is Israeli "warplanes" that threaten truce efforts, not the rockets, and that Israel "hits" while 15 Qassam rockets merely "rattle."

The article goes on to say:
The violence flared within hours of an Israeli operation on Wednesday in the West Bank town of Bethlehem where undercover special forces killed four Palestinian gunmen, including two senior commanders.
The use of the word "gunmen" as a synonym for "terrorists" is bad enough, but using it to describe terror leaders is absurd. "Gunmen" imply petty criminals, not people who meticulously plan attacks on civilians and direct others to do it.
In a rare harshly-worded statement, the Palestinian presidency accused Israel of "barbaric crimes."

"These barbaric crimes reveal the truce [sic] face of Israel, which speaks loudly about peace and security all the while committing murders and executions against our people," it said.
AFP doesn't bother to emphasize that the supposedly moderate Abbas had no such harsh words for the slaughter of 8 students last week, but the killing of wanted terrorists - in territory that he supposedly controls and allows them to walk free, who had automatic weapons and grenades in their car - is considered "barbaric." Neither does it notice that Mahmoud Abbas considers Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa terrorists to be "his people."

AFP doesn't mention that one of the terrorists killed was a member of Mahmoud Abbas' own Fatah party, showing collusion between Fatah and Islamic Jihad.

The article likewise doesn't mention the Mercaz Harav massacre at all as it goes through background information.

Of the four pictures used to illustrate the article, every one of them is used to evoke either Israeli aggression or Palestinian Arab victimhood - including this particularly disgusting one:


Palestinian animal owners protest in Gaza City against the Israeli blockade and air raids
©AFP/File - Mehdi Fedouach

In an article dripping with bias against Israel, it is not surprising that they choose a picture showing Israel as being responsible for destroying peace, not to mention one that uses Zionism=Nazism calumny.